Two more weeks of training to go….Eeeeek!
A busy week this week though very enjoyable for all, those in leadership roles had a couple of days of leadership training, one day with Murray who ran our Communications course and one day with HR, some good emphasis on dealing with conflict resolution, lets face it, this is our biggest worry, we’re a small family of people in each others faces for 24/7 for 12 months, things will happen & people will rub each other up the wrong way, it’s recognising that and defusing any situations that we’ve all got to manage.
Myself and Rob (SCTO for Casey Station) spent Wednesday training on ‘Maximo’ which is the system used for maintenance planning and logging of works carried out on station, not the most exciting thing in the world but it does a good job of tracking trends in faults and problems, using it hands on will be where I really start to understand it’s full potential, that won’t really happen until we get down there.
Meanwhile, for the first three days of the week, the real fun was being had by the rest of the team who were all out doing a three day course learning how to drive the RIBs (Rigid Inflatable boats) that will get used down on station. Quite a few people have got some fair boating experience already so all went fairly well from my understanding, running the larger training sessions is getting people to bond well, really starting to notice that this week.
This week we saw Sept the 19th come and go, this was the V1 consignment cut off date whereby all personal effects must be consigned to the warehouse for transfer to the customs holding area in preparation for deployment – I seem to be taking way too much stuff but it should be within limits so I’d sooner have it down there with me than not at all! If nothing else my room is a lot less cluttered, only ‘two piles’ of kit now, my 30kgs of ‘hand luggage’ (I’d hardly call 2 x Pelicases, 1 x large Alpine pack and 2 x Camera bags hand luggage but this is it’s classification) and the rest of the unwanted gear and clothing that I’ve had in Hobart which I’ll return to Brisbane with in a few weeks time. Given I’m now a ‘permanent’ employee for the first time in about ten years I actually get paid leave which is an interesting concept – They’ve given us all 5 days pre departure leave to be taken between the 7th and 11th of October, add the weekends on either side of this and we get a nice healthy 9 day break…I’ll be flying back on Friday the 4th to make the most of my final week at home for a while.
The last two days of this week saw us undergoing SAR (Search & Rescue) training – For those that know me this is obviously something I’m fairly familiar with, I volunteered in NZ with LandSAR for mountain and rural searches and also with USAR (Urban Search & Rescue) which was for earthquake recovery and confined space rescue. It was interesting to see that we were following the principles taught by ‘Sarinz’ which is the NZ training board for SAR, quite surprised that Australia was using an NZ standard but in chatting with the FTO’s (Field training officers) it’s got a good reputation. I’ve done a number of courses though Sarinz during my time in NZ and have accreditation with them for ‘Tracking and Awareness’, ‘Lost Person Behaviour’, ‘Alzheimers’ and ‘Advanced Field Emergency Care’ so was glad to see my time on all those weekends wasn’t wasted.
The FTO’s provided a good overview of SAR, mostly theory on day one, the expectations on us as expeditioners should we wish to venture off site, the requirement to have a designated and approved trip leader, intentions cards, comms and safety gear, understanding of how to look after yourself and go to ground in blizzard conditions. We went through scenarios of what initiates a ‘search’ how to catagorise them and what resources are at our disposal to assist with a search callout e.g. Quad bike, on foot, Haggland, Helicopters, aircraft etc..Obviously the overriding emphasis was on ensuring that we stuck to our intentions plan, stuck to recognised paths and routes and don’t get separated – As with anything pro active planning and preparation usually heads off the need to ’cause’ a SAR incident in the first place!
Day two was more on the rescue and rope techniques should we need to recover a body or injured person, the basics of rope systems that will be available to those on the SAR teams. Talking of which, there will be two ‘types’ of emergency response teams on site, we’ll always maintain enough people on site to have an effective Fire response and SAR response, the team members will be selected as training progresses and people show willing etc, both SAR and Fire teams will continually train throughout both the Summer and Winter months to ensure they’re well versed to be able to cope in the eventuality of either event – Next week is five days worth of fire training which should be an awesome week too.
This weekend was the Tall Ships festival in Hobart, town was really busy Friday night and again today with people visiting to see the range of ships that have arrived for the weekend, seemed like a good opportunity to get out and take some photos.
As for Sunday? Not sure yet, might head up the mountain again, I do like it up there 🙂
Cheers for now!